EPA falls short of goal, Gulf of Mexico dead zone grows

Aug. 11, 2015

LENEXA, Kan. — The area is the size of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined.

LENEXA, Kan. — Louisiana University Marine Consortium and Louisiana State University found that a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico covers about 6,474 miles, according to agprofessional.com.

The area is the size of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined, noted the article. It is located at the mouth of the Mississippi River and a large amount of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution from as far away as Minnesota.

The findings show that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) did not meet its goal to reduce pollution flowing from the Mississippi River into the Gulf, reported the article. It set the goal in 2001.

"In 2001, state and federal bureaucrats set a goal of reducing the size of the Dead Zone to 1,950 square miles by 2015," said Matt Rota, Senior Policy Director for the Gulf Restoration Network, in the article. "Well here we are at 2015, and we are over three times that goal."

The EPA announced it will move the goal’s deadline to 2035, but it did not include any new strategies for doing so, reported the article. The EPA is currently involved in a lawsuit with the Mississippi River Collaborative over the agency’s "refusal to set and enforce numeric standards for nitrogen and phosphorus pollution as part of its obligation under the Clean Water Act."

You can find the entire article here.

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